U.S. Senate sends 2017 NDAA to Trump for signature
It includes $354.6 million for Guam buildup military construction projects
and authorizes up to 4,000 H-2B temporary workers for the island
Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo has announced that the U.S. Senate has passed the conference report of H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 by voice vote. H.R. 2810 previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives on November 14th and now goes to President Trump, who is expected to sign it.
H.R. 2810 fully authorizes $354.6 million for military construction projects for Guam to support the ongoing progress on the Marine realignment as well as current operations which include the hardening of select military facilities.
The bill further provides the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services with flexibility to provide up to 4,000 H-2B temporary workers per year to support construction or facility services that are directly connected to, or associated with, the Marine realignment. This would enable civilian infrastructure funded by the federal government, the Government of Guam, or non-governmental sources that are being done, in part, because of the increased number of military personnel and military families moving to Guam. The provision additionally extends Guam’s exemption from the national H-2B visa cap until 2023.
“I am pleased by the Senate’s swift approval of the conference report for the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act," said Bordallo. "This bill contains important provisions for Guam and continues progress for the Asia-Pacific rebalance strategy, and importantly the realignment of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The bill includes compromise language to help relieve Guam’s H-2B visa crisis by giving flexibility to USCIS to approve up to 4,000 visas per year for construction projects inside and outside the fence related to the buildup. I look forward to President Trump signing this bill into law and to continuing to work with our local and federal partners to build on our progress for the people of Guam.”